Winter chanterelles are a common, easy to identify and delicious mushrooms that can be picked in large numbers right through November and well into December. Here I look at 4 species that often get referred to as winter chanterelles: yellowlegs, golden chanterelle, ashen chanterelle and winter chanterelle
The cep is the king of edible mushrooms. No food, fungal or otherwise, comes near it for flavour and texture and when you find a firm young penny bun, or ‘bouchon’ cep as the French call it after champagne corks, there is an irresistable fairytale beauty to them which is both beautiful and seductive.
It can feel like finding the mythical pot of gold at the end of a rainbow when you come across a cluster of these beautiful mushrooms on a shady woodland floor. They are the most widely commercially harvested wild fungi in Scotland, loving our damp, mild climate and extensive birch and beech woodlands and are highly esteemed by chefs.
Elderflowers are one of natures finest edible treasures and for me, the signature wild food of early summer. In autumn elder berries offer quite different, but equally rich delights for hedgerow preservers.
I have a love-hate relationship with marsh samphire. Mostly its love – the wide open seascapes where it thrives, its odd cactus-like appearance and its wonderful salty-fresh succulence. Even the silty, squelchy estuarine habitat where it grows has a “mud-glorious-mud” gooeyness that appeals to the filthy schoolboy in me.